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The Benefits of Studying

January 31, 2012

Unreferenced cheetah sketches

The benefits of studying are great, eh?

So here’s a little something which may (or may not) show the benefit of doing things like a study of one particular creature’s anatomy, like the cheetah study I did in the last post. Much more accurate anatomy, even when I’m not looking at a photograph. The animal portrayed here is actually an animal character of mine named Selini. She’s a maltese (“blue”) cheetah with another rare (but not unheard of) mutation which causes her not to have spots, just speckles along her nape and shoulders.

The sketch in the upper-right-hand corner (where she looks pretty ticked off) has actually been colored. You can see it in my deviantART gallery: Selini.

Cheetahs weren’t the only thing I’ve been drawing this week. I’ve been throwing around ideas for another digital painting. It’s in progress – I’m still trying to perfect the lighting and colors I want to use.

Step 1

I started off with a simple sketch in black and white. I used minimal shading. Next I began to experiment with the colors I might want to use. I wanted to use something warm, because warm colors tend to be more associated with feelings of happiness and excitement. I definitely want these sort of feelings to be associated with the curious kitten.

Proposed colors for the next painting...

Step 2

There’s no sort of lighting or shading at all on the kitten, just the general ideas I want for his colors. To figure out how I want the shading to look, I created a new layer and began playing around with two colors: black and white.

Proposed shading for kitten...

My intention with the lighting is to create a definite focal point – a place where your eyes are naturally drawn in the image, a place where I, the artist, want your eyes to linger more than elsewhere. In this case, I want your eyes to follow the strand of yarn/rope/thread/however you want to interpret it down the kitten’s paw and foreleg to his face. His face is the lightest part of the image in general for this reason. Not only that, but his face has (or will have) the most contrast – drawing the eye that way as well.

Step 3

Finally, here is the image with the shading layer placed over the proposed colors just to get a good idea of what I’m going for. If/when I finish this little guy I will be posting the finished product… if not here, then in one of my galleries. Keep an eye out for the link!

The kitten concept with colors and shading combined.

The full concept for the kitten with shading and colors combined.

See you later! ❤

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